Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Revealing analogies: The descriptive and deceptive roles of sexuality and gender in latin alchemy

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

Sexual and erotic language and imagery is extremely common in alchemy. The presence of such imagery has engendered a variety of explanations of divergent plausibility and historical sensibility for its origin, purpose, and meaning. This chapter addresses fundamental questions about such imagery. It presents evidence from various sources to show (1) that alchemical writers consciously created their terms and images with both of these goals in mind, (2) that alchemical authors were aware of the metaphorical nature of their language and imagery, (3) that sexual imagery arises uncomplicatedly from common experience and fundamental ways of looking at the world, and (4) that such ways of describing, or rather emblematizing, the world are not unique to secretive chrysopoetic (gold-making) alchemy. The examples presented indicate quite clearly that alchemical imagery, including that of a gendered, sexual, erotic nature, is careful construction of alchemical authors pressured by the opposing desires to conceal and to reveal.

Keywords: alchemical authors; alchemical imagery; Deceptive Roles; Gender; Latin Alchemy; Revealing; secretive chrysopoetic alchemy; Sexuality



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Hidden Intercourse — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation